The Biggest Renewables Battery in Europe Only Can Power UK Less Than 60 Seconds

by Rudy P. SysAdmin at howtofindthemoney
The hyperbole that greets the announcement of another giant battery is like the toxic plume they give off when they explode in flames. And, as we recently reported, that’s an increasingly likely occurrence: Giant Batteries Bomb: Renewable Energy Storage Systems Literally Setting The World On Fire

At a loss to deal with the hopeless and chaotic intermittency of wind and solar, renewable energy rent seekers and zealots have had to retreat behind the “batteries will fix it” barricades, as a last redoubt.

So, it’s only natural that they’ll overplay their hands every time a piddling 100 MW of lithium-ion storage gets tacked on to the grid.

Paul Homewood sets out to douse their misplaced exuberance with a little mathematics and physics.

Shell’s New Battery Won’t Solve Wind Intermittency Problem

Oil and gas giant Shell has plans for a 100-megawatt grid storage battery in the west of England. It is slated to be the biggest battery in Europe once it is completed later this year and will be crucial to the UK’s quest to remain the continent’s top wind power player.

The battery project in the county of Wiltshire aims to store renewable power in two 50MW cells and then sell it to consumers when demand and prices are high.

“Projects like this will be vital for balancing the UK’s electricity demand and supply as wind and solar power play bigger roles in powering our lives,” said Shell Energy Europe vice president David Wells.

“Batteries are uniquely suited to optimising power supplies as the UK moves towards a net-zero carbon system,” he added. It is the Dutch firm’s latest attempt to diversify its business holdings away from fossil fuels towards more sustainable energy.

Chinese investment fund CNIC and state-run utility Huaneng Group will build the battery but Shell insists neither will be involved with its day-to-day operations once construction is completed.

The battery will hold enough juice to power 10,000 homes for a single day once fully charged, given that UK energy regulator Ofgem says that a typical household needs about 10 kilowatts every 24-hour period.

Despite the claim that it will be crucial to the UK’s quest to remain the continent’s top wind power player, it will, in fact, be nothing of the sort.

According to Shell’s blurb, the battery will store 100 MWh. UK wind output is running on average at 60 TWh a year, which equates to 6854 MWh per hour. In other words, Shell’s new shiny battery will only be able to replace wind output for less than a minute, if the wind stopped blowing.

The business logic is, of course, no different to that of small scale peakers, such as diesel engines and OCGTs, which come on stream to cover small fluctuations in supply and demand, thus earning premium tariffs.

The difference, however, is that diesel engines and OCGTs can run for much longer than an hour when needed.

Shell’s new battery may be a cheaper option than other peakers, but it certainly does make a jot of difference to the energy outlook, nor the problems created by the intermittency of wind power.

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About Rudy P. Magnate II   SysAdmin at howtofindthemoney

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Joined APSense since, April 9th, 2013, From Solo, Indonesia.

Created on Mar 21st 2020 04:13. Viewed 667 times.


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